Is security an issue for your cloud system?

While cloud computing can offer a lot of benefits to businesses, concerns around how to ensure the privacy and security of information shared are still a major part of the discussion. 

However, a number of recent developments have debunked these out-of-date issues and shed some light on how these systems need to be implemented for optimum security.

In Australia, 87 per cent of businesses have a paid cloud computing system in place, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. For organisations with five to nine employees, this figure rises to 92 per cent. Within the set of firms that currently don't have any form of cloud, 16.2 per cent cited security issues as the main reason for not implementing one, the most common answer given in the survey. 

Despite these concerns, many industry experts have set out to debunk the assumption that the cloud has higher security risks. Vice President of British Telecom Security Phil Rodrigues said while the system itself isn't inherently insecure, the problem lies in implementation.

"I think one wrong assumption is that the cloud is insecure, which was something we saw three to five years ago," he said in an August 7 article for Digital News Asia. 

"If they only put security between themselves and the cloud, they aren't protecting any of the data and the environments between it." 

How to ensure your system is safe

In order to maintain security between everyone connected to the network, the Australian Institute of Criminology has highlighted the issues to be aware of.

One of the major ones that is still an ongoing problem today is denial of service attacks. These occur when an aggressor sends a flood of traffic to overwhelm a site, temporarily blocking access for the user. In recent years, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been the most common, performed by a group of inter-connected machines called a botnet and aimed at an individual rather than the whole network.

Usually, the attack occurs through accessing a victim's password or constantly re-entering it until they are locked out of their account. It is therefore important for all those on the network to keep vigilant with their password and ensure locking systems can't be tampered with. DDoS is also used to conduct malicious attacks on the network, such as spam or click fraud. Due to the number of servers, access is usually gained through brute force. 

While cloud can be an effective productivity software, in order to decrease risk, everyone on the network needs to be aware of exactly how the cloud works. Understanding and implementing the correct security measures ensured your business avoids becoming a target.  

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